Monday, January 19, 2009

HAIRSPRAY the play - picture me dancing wildly

We went to see the musical HAIRSPRAY at the COBB ENERGY CENTER yesterday.

We were looking for a good reason to go the new Cobb Energy Center and hi-dee-ho, our son Rocky gave Anna two tickets to HAIRSPRAY for her birthday.

The place is big and beautifully designed. It has tiered balconies and at least six private boxes.

We had orchestra seats, which were very near the action. You could easily see facial expressions on the stage without binoculars. During intermission we walked down the few rows to the orchestra pit and looked down.

Good Lord! From the stage deck to the orchestra pit looked to be over 10 feet. I remember reading about somebody, I forgot who, fell off the stage into the pit and broke a leg. It might have added to the excitement if he or she landed on the percussion instruments – then scream.

Seriously, it looked like a health hazard…. With fast hard energetic choreographed precision dance numbers where every step has to be just right because somebody will be stomping and stepping in that very same spot in the next second, somebody could easily trip and tumble into the music pit. Ouch!

Oh well, I guess they are aware of it, no need to warn them.

It was a matinée show. Curtain time was 1:00pm. We were in the building a few minutes after 12:00 (of course) and were in out seats by 12:35 – they didn’t open the theater seating area until 12:30.

I enjoyed watching people flow in. I noticed a lot of women brought their daughters. There were a lot of preteen girls there. It was a full house and I saw only one pre-teenage boy.

I overheard somebody say there is not a bad seat in the house. I looked around – by cracky, that is right. No pillars and all seats are slightly higher than the seat in front of them.

HAIRSPRAY is the same HAIRSPRAY movie that John Waters wrote the screenplay and John Travolta played Edna Turnblad. It is a high energy musical with a lot of good music that dealt with some social issues that should have been dealt with long before…. Such as looking down on someone because they are overweight, snobbery, and last but not least, the race issue – the mistreatment of blacks.

I was engrossed at the moving of props in timely synchronized manners. How efficient! And the dancers were the ones that openly moved the props… I bet the stage-hands union balked at this “new theater” style, where it is ok for a group to be dancing, and while they are dancing and singing push a jailhouse off stage.

The audience, without being asked, were required to fill in missing scenery or props - some things were just understood to be there, in an imaginary sense. Which is good – maybe one enjoyed certain parts better than his neighbor because his imagination was more detailed…..maybe.

I think the story line was the same in both movie and play…. The same value in both… although the endings were slightly different…. But they were both good in their own way.

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Blogger kenju said...

I enjoyed that movie, and I wouldn't mind seeing it live. I think the props in a stage play like that are fascinating; the way they move them around and sometimes re-use them in different ways. I was amazed when we saw the Lion King's props!

6:35 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Isn't the shifting of scenery something? All those props, turn it one way and it is something entirely different than if you turn it another way.
I can see where the Lion King play really would require the audience to use their imaginations.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Si's blog said...

Enjoyed the movie, also. but seeing things "in the flesh" is a whole new dimension. One of our daughters works in the theatre in Warrenton and we get to see some of the preparation and really good presentation. Wish they would do Hairspray. Envy you your evening at the theatre.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Live theatre is great and your new place sounds wonderful! Take as much advantage of going there as possible is my advice :)

1:08 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Well, I envy you for having a daughter that works in theater - We need an insider to slip us in when no one is looking.

I love to go there more often, but tickets are costly, in my eyes anyway. The tickets we had cost over $150, but I'm not sure for both or each one... and a few weeks ago, before Christmas we had tickets there to see Harry Connick, Jr., in the nose-bleed section, and they were cheaper, but not that cheaper... I think both tickets cost around $90... but, if you remember that episode of my life, we had to sell those on Craig's list because I was sick with pneumonia.

2:29 PM  

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